Regardless of the screen your customer is viewing your site on, be it a computer, tablet or mobile phone, there are some crucial elements and best practices to keep in mind when designing it. If you were to make a list of these elements, you can certainly check off having the basics such as your contact information, address, and general overview of your business (along with other requirements depending on your field e.g. store hours, menus, store locator and directions etc.) Now let’s add some more slightly advanced elements to this list; I say “slightly advanced” because these crucial elements to include are actually very subtle, which include:
- Minimal design – This may sound obvious, but achieving minimal design is harder than it sounds as you might have tunnel vision. You put a lot of time and thought into creating masterful copy and you or your design team has poured hours into painting a beautiful digital canvas on your site. And you have tons of testimonials and case studies from your happy clients
But put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If they’re on their phones, chances are they’re in the discovery phase of their path to purchase so they might not be ready to evaluate vendors. So leave the case studies, brilliantly written product/service descriptions, and other in-depth content for the full version of your site. Or, if you’re focusing on the main version of your site first, create separate tabs or sub pages for this content. Devote your resources into making a simple and sleek first impression on your potential customers.
- Include painfully obvious call to actions – Are you offering a free trial? Put up a big button with big bold text. Your prompts for the customer to move along their path to purchase must be so painfully obvious they might run the risk of hurting themselves! Our brains are wired to automatically look for very specific words when we’re look for more information (e.g. price vs. quote.) This could mean while some people were looking for links/buttons to get pricing info, it didn’t click in their head that quote also means price!
- Consolidate where necessary – If you have an e-commerce site, make sure you have a 1-page checkout. Does your lead capture form include several fields? Pare it down to just the basics like name and email address. You want your site’s user experience to be as frictionless as possible. People can’t be bothered to fill out very long forms just to get access to whatever asset you’re offering (e.g. eBook, free gift etc.)
- Test and test again – Before you make a sweeping overhaul of your site and expect the leads to pour in automatically, make sure that the changes actually bring people in! If you change your call to action, do a split or multivariate test to see which version of your call to action works best before going live.
These are but a couple of rules of thumb when making a site that converts. What some of your best/worst site experiences were as both an owner and a visitor. What do you think are the elements that a site needs to convert visitors into customers?
Andrea Misir is a Staff Writer and Social Media Strategist at Venerate Media Group. When she’s not busy writing about the wonders of social media and marketing and making social media and marketing wonders happen for her clients, she enjoys yoga, going to the gym, and sipping on an occasional Old Fashioned Mad Men style. She is based in NYC and has worked with a variety of big and small brands, including Sprint, J&J, Showtime, and more.